I confess that I am quite fond of Target. I like the company’s commitment to innovative design, whether it’s in fashion or housewares or paper goods. As I make my rounds at Target, I occasionally stop at the book section, but only if I just finished a book and need an immediate replacement. I guess I should linger a bit longer in the books, though, because according to this article in the New York Times, Target is making rock stars out of some relatively unknown writers.
Though Target sells its share of best sellers and mainstream, mass-market choices, it also has its own book club, called Bookmarked Club, and features many new titles, or at least new to the majority of readers. And Target has succeeded in generating impressive sales for many of these books: Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay was released in hardback in 2007 and had sold only about 2,000 copies when Target decided to promote the paperback edition as its Bookmarked Club Pick. Target sold 145,000 copies. You can’t really argue with figures like that!
Some other interesting points in the article include the fact that Target’s book selection is really quite small, about 2,500 titles per store. In contrast, bookselling-behemoth Barnes & Noble has about 200,000 titles per store. Target also displays its book offerings in a manner meant to attract buyers: featured titles are set on displays at the ends of aisles, and most books are shelved with the covers facing out (yes, sometimes you can judge a book by its cover).